11/15/2016 9:41PM

Keeneland November: Conquest Enforcer tops session at $785,000

Keeneland Photo
Conquest Enforcer topped Book 4 of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale selling for $785,000.

The second half of the Conquest Stables dispersal’s racing-age portion helped propel gains for a second day to close out Book 4 of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale Tuesday, topped by the $785,000 Conquest Enforcer.

Similar to Monday’s session, the addition of the marquee dispersal produced anomalous returns for the auction’s middle sessions, which can distort the year-to-year comparisons.

Tuesday’s session saw 287 horses sold for $10,833,700, up 50 percent from last year’s eighth session when 253 horses brought $7,242,300.

The average sale price rose 32 percent to $37,748 from $28,626, while the median dipped 9 percent to $20,000 from $22,000. The buyback rate closed at 18 percent Tuesday, compared with 22 percent during last year’s similar session. However, it is important to note that 50 horses sold as part of the Conquest dispersal went through the ring without reserve.

Twenty horses brought six-figure sale prices Tuesday. Of that group, 12 came out of the Conquest dispersal.

“I thought prices were great across the board,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “Obviously, the top-priced horses are exciting, but those horses tend to attract buyers to be able to cover those middle- and lower-tier horses, too. That was very rewarding as well.”

Ron Paolucci’s Loooch Racing purchased session-topper Conquest Enforcer for $785,000.

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The 3-year-old Into Mischief colt has won 4 of 7 starts for earnings of $360,640. A proficient runner on turf and synthetic surfaces, Conquest Enforcer has won the Charlie Barley, Cup and Saucer, and Quenston stakes at Woodbine and the Allied Forces at Belmont Park. He also has placed in the Grade 2 Play the King Stakes and most recently finished third, by a neck, in the Grade 2 Nearctic Stakes on the turf at Woodbine.

Bloodstock agent Zach Madden signed the ticket for Paolucci and said the decision on where the colt will race, and for what trainer, would be made later.

“We vetted probably 10 horses, and he said, ‘Go after him,’ ” Madden said. “I was actually out of the door at $750,000, and he said, ‘Don’t hang up.’ The guy that delivered the ticket said ‘I thought you were gone,’ and I said, ‘I thought I was gone, too.’ ”

Bred in Ontario by Tall Oaks Farm, Conquest Enforcer is out of the unraced Victory Gallop mare Keen Victory, whose three foals to race are all winners. He is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Conquest Vivi, who sold to Adena Springs on Monday for $480,000, and stakes-placed Keen Gizmo. He is from the extended family of Grade 1 winner Poseidon’s Warrior and Grade 3 winner Smart Enough.

The colt was a $210,000 purchase out of the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. He was trained by Mark Casse for Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables.

Lane’s End consigned the horses of the Conquest dispersal, as agent.

The racing/broodmare prospect market was led by If You Say So, a placed Arch filly who sold to Steven Young, as agent, for $160,000.

The 3-year-old is a maiden, but has finished second in six of her eight career starts for earnings of $38,280. She raced as a homebred for Kentucky-based Pin Oak Stud and was trained by Graham Motion.

If You Say So is out of the stakes-winning Thunder Gulch mare Whisper to Me, whose three winners from four runners includes Grade 2 winner Overheard. A Medaglia d’Oro filly out of Whisper to Me drew the highest price at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale, going to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for $1.45 million.

The extended family includes champion Chris Evert and Grade 1 winner Confessional.

Elm Tree Farm consigned If You Say So, as agent.

Whitechurch Bloodstock bought the day’s most expensive weanling, going to $105,000 for a colt from the first crop of WinStar Farm stallion Revolutionary.

The bay colt is out of the placed High Yield mare Diamondsareforesta, whose three foals to race are all winners. He is from the family of Grade 2 winners Foresta and Victory U. S. A., as well as Grade 3 winner Wising Up. Warrendale Sales consigned the colt, as agent.

Atreides, a resident of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, was the day’s leading covering sire by gross, with 13 in-foal mares sold for $397,500. Calumet Farm’s English Channel led the covering sires by average sale price, among those with three or more sold, with three mares averaging $35,500.

Lane’s End was the session’s leading consignor by gross, with 61 horses sold for $4,631,500. The bulk of that figure came from handling the Conquest dispersal.

Loooch Racing was Tuesday’s leading buyer with the lone purchase of the $785,000 session-topper.

The second half of the Conquest Stables racing-age dispersal, focusing on colts and geldings, moved 50 horses Tuesday for revenues of $4,250,500 and an average price of $85,010.

Combined with Monday’s filly-and-mare offerings, the racing-age portion of the Conquest Stables dispersal sold 85 horses for $8,572,000 and an average of $100,847. Those figures exclude broodmare and weanling offerings earlier in the sale.

“I hope Ernie and Dory are happy with everything,” Russell said. “I thought from start to finish, the Conquest dispersal went very well. I think full credit goes to Lane’s End and [sales director] Allaire Ryan for the logistics. Selling this amount of horses all with the same first name can be very trying. I think Allaire did a spectacular job getting it all done.”

After eight days of trade, a total of 1,695 horses changed hands for revenues of $204,011,000 down 1 percent from the same point during last year’s renewal when 1,715 horses brought $205,177,000.

The cumulative average sale price was up 1 percent to $120,360 from $119,637, while the median remained even at $52,000. The buyback rate closed at 28 percent, up from 26 percent in 2015.

The Keeneland November sale continues daily through Nov. 20, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern.